An Orderly finishes looping thread through flesh.
He goes about his business with a sigh and ties a futile knot.
Once he’s tied the catgut sutures and wrapped the paper crepe bandages, the Orderly moves onto the next man because the next man had a chance to keep breathing.
More orderlies take the bedding from the cot because there are men with a chance to keep warm and alive. A Nurse in a grey uniform that might have once been white almost leaves the sheet underneath his limp heaving body because a dead man should at least have a burial shroud. But she takes it anyway.
His face takes on the waxen quality that blood loss brings.
His temperature rises. Its been days since he was fished from a taken trench, but there are no anti-tetanus shots for a boy-prisoner with flak in his lungs so liquid fills them oh-so slowly. There is no healing from this. There is no point in propping up a man already lying in his grave.